In recent years, there is an increase in the number of applications being filed for Inter-caste Marriage scheme.
Bengaluru: The Social Welfare Department has been coming up with different schemes for human rights and human welfare. Inter-caste marriage scheme is one of them. Inter-caste marriages have always been a taboo in our society.
According to the Social Welfare Department in the year 2016-17 only 36 applications were filed from the Bengaluru Urban area. Whereas, this number has now increased to 623 applications in the year 2020-21.
Under the Inter Caste Marriage Scheme, couples receive a certain amount of money if both their incomes are under Rs. 5 lakhs. It has also been mentioned that if an SC/ST boy marries a girl of another caste then the couple would receive Rs. 2.5 lakhs. And, if an SC/ST girl marries a boy of another caste then they would receive Rs. 3 lakhs.
Sonia Chandok, a housewife said, “My husband and I had applied for the scheme just after two months of our marriage. And it had actually helped us, to deal with the financial crisis we faced at that time. Though we received the amount a bit late but it had helped.”
Bhagya Nair, an NGO member said, “You know the inter caste marriage has been a taboo in some parts of our society. This scheme has helped the couples to come up and give their marriage a legal name. I mean now no one can oppose against it after this. But there are still a lot of cases of lynching of the couples but less than before.”
In India, there are societal constraint around inter-caste marriages. While some people are changing their opinions about it, many choose to stick to the familiar avenues of bigotry.
Anagha Kulkarni, an advocate explained, “The right to marry a person of one’s own choice is an integral part of Article 21 which is right to life & liberty. Consent of the family or community or clan is not necessary once the two adults agree to wedlock. The special marriage act 1954 permits them to do so. On the basis of this law court marriages are performed before the Registrar of the marriage appointed by government of India accompanied by 3 witnesses.”
Awareness programs and advertisements have led to an increase in awareness.